There are eight limbs, or main branches, of the yoga practice. In this video, John Campbell, Ph.D., a professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia, explicates the progression of these limbs from the ethical guidelines to the physical practice to the more subtle. Once physical well-being arises from the asana, or physical practice, we arrive at the breathing practices—pranayamain Sanskrit. Watch the video above to learn about the way in which we can use the breath to directly interface with the neural energies that manifest in the body, with technical and philosophical guidance from Campbell.

Related: The Importance of Breathing in Yoga

Photo by Hailey Wist